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DUKE 

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YOUNG AMERICA 


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JJfDI. 


BY 

FITZ-GREENE HALLECK. 


NEW YORK: 

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY. 
443 & 445 BROADWAY. 

1865. 


Enteeeb, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S64, by 
D. APPLETON & CO., 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of 
New York. 


m 3t 
ft/svy 


YOUNG AMEBICA. 


I. 

It is a boy whom fourteen years have seen, 
S mili ng, with them, on Spring’s returning 
green, 

A bonny boy, with eye-delighting eyes, 
Sparkling as stars, and blue as summer’s skies, 




12 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


With face, like April’s bright in smiles or 
tears, 

His laugh a song—his step the forest deer’s, 
With heart as pure and liberal as the air, 

And voice of sweetest tone, and bright gold hair 
In thick curls clustering round his even brow, 
And dimpled cheek—how calm he slumbers 
now! 

The sentry stars in heaven’s blue above, 

Sleep their sweet daybreak sleep, their watch 
withdrawn, 

And lovely as a bride from dream of love, 
Blushing and blooming, wakes the summer 
dawn ; 

Winds—woods—and waters of the brook and 
bay 



YOUNG AMERICA. 


13 


Wake at the fanning of the wings of day, 

And birds and bells, in garden, tree, and tower, 
Bow to the bidding of the wakening hour, 
And breathe, the Hamlet’s happy homes 
among 

Morn’s fragrant music from their lips of Song. 

Within the loveliest of wayside bowers, 

The summer home of loveliest leaves and 
flowers, 

Cradled on rose-leaves, curtained round with 
vines, 

And canopied by branches of a tree 
Whose buds and blossoms charm the wander¬ 
ing bee, 

In deep and dreaming sleep the youth re¬ 
clines. 



14 


YOUNG AMEBIC A. 


Sunbeams, wind-cooled, their fond caressing 
glow, 

Twine, with leaf-shadows, the green roof be¬ 
low, 

In wedded love-clasp of sweet shade and light, 
The enwoven harmony of the dark and bright, 
And blend within, around it, and above, 

Them balm, them bloom, their beauty, and 
their joy, 

Their watching—sleepless as the brooding 
dove, 

Their bounty—boundless as the fairy love 
Of Queen Titania for her Henchman Boy. 



YOUNG AMERICA. 


15 


H. 

The doors are open in the house of prayer, 
The morning worshippers are kneeling there 
In supplicating harmony, beneath 
The intoning organ’s incense-bearing breath, 
That aids their hymning voices, and around 
Moves in the might and majesty of sound. 

The pages of the Holy Book are read, 

The solemn blessing of the Priest is said, 
Departing footsteps gently press the floor, 

And silence seals and guards the consecrated 
door. 



16 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


Along his homeward pathway, lingering slow, 
His dark weeds tokening a mourner’s woe, 
The Gospel-Teacher comes. The path in¬ 
clines 

His steps beside the cradle bower of vines 
Where sleeps the hoy. A moment’s mute sur¬ 
prise, 

And the mazed mourner greets, with grateful 
eyes, 

The enlivening presence of that cherub face, 

Delighted in its loveliness to trace 

The memorial beauty of his own lost boy, 

A blossomed bud, death-doomed, in its spring¬ 
time of joy; 

And says, in whispers, “Would that I might 
wake, 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


17 


And woo, and win him, for his soul’s sweet 
sake, 

To make my home his cloister, and entwine 
All his life’s hopes and happiness with mine. 
And with him win, dear daughter of the sky ! 
Handmaid of Heaven! immortal Piety! 

Thy visitings, and joy to see thee bring 
In sisterly embrace, wing folding wing, 

Meek Faith, sweet Hope, and Charity divine, 
With thee to consecrate that home a shrine 
Among the holiest where the adorer kneels, 
Listening the coming of thy chariot wheels. 
Then the gay sportive dreams, enwreatliing 
now * 

Their frolic fancies round the slumborer’s 
brow, 


1 * 


18 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


Should yield to dreams of angels entering in 
His young heart’s Eden, unprofaned by sin; 
Then should his pleasant couch of leaves and 
flowers 

Yield willing homage to the bliss of bowers 
More beautiful than hers, and only given 
In visions of the scenery of Heaven; 

Then should the music now around him heard, 
The wind-harp’s song, the song of bee and 
bird, 

Yield to thy chorused carollings sublime, 

And sky-endomed cathedral’s chaunt and 
chime. 



YOUNG AMERICA. 


19 


And then the longing of his life should be 
To praise, to love, to worship thine and thee, 
And when, my pastoral task of duty done, 

I rest beneath the cold sepulchral stone, 

Be his the delegated power to grace, 

In surpliced sanctity, thy Altar place; 

To feed thy chosen flock with heavenly food, 
Be their kind Shepherd, gentle, generous, 
good, 

And, in the language of the Minstrel’s lay, 

“ Lure them to brighter worlds, and lead the 
way.” 



20 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


Hark! a bugle’s echo comes, 
Hark! a fife is singing, 

Hark! tbe roll of far-off drums 
Through the ah’ is ringing! 


The mourner turns—looks—listens, and 
gone, 

In quiet heedlessness the Boy sleeps on. 




YOUNG AMERICA. 


21 


III. 

Nearer the bugle’s echo comes, 

Nearer tlie fife is singing, 

Near and more near the roll of drums 
Through the air is ringing. 


War! it is thy music proud, 
Wakening the brave-hearted, 
Memories—hopes—a glorious crowd, 
At its call have started. 


22 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


Memories of our sires of old, 
Who, oppression-driven, 

Higli their rainbow flag unrolled 
To the sun and sky of heaven. 


Memories of the true and brave, 
Who, at Honor’s bidding, 

Stept, their Country’s life to save, 
To war as to then- wedding. 


Memories of many a battle plain, 

Where, then life-blood flowing, 

Made green the grass, and gold the grain, 
Above their grave-mounds growing. 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


23 


Hopes—that the children of their prayers, 
"With them in valor vieing, 

May do as noble deeds as theirs, 

In living and in dying. 


And make, for children yet to come, 
The land of their bequeathing 
The imperial and the peerless home 
Of happiest beings breathing. 


For this the warrior-path we tread, 
The battle-path of duty, 

And change, for field and forest bed, 
Our bowers of love and beauty. 


24 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


Music! bid thy minstrels play 
No tunes of grief or sorrow, 

Let them cheer the living brave to-day, 
They may wail the dead to-morrow. 


Such were the words, unvoiced by lip or 
tongue, 

The thought-enwoven themes, the mental song 
Of One, high placed, beside the slumberer’s 
bower, 

In the stern, silent chieftainship of power. 



YOUNG AMERICA. 


25 


A War-king, seated on his saddle throne, 

A listener to no counsels hut his own, 

The soldier leader of a soldier band, 

Whose prescient skill, quick eye, and brief 
command, 

Have won for him, on many a field of fame, 
The immortality of a victor’s name. 

His troops, in thousands, now are marching 

Heart-homage seen in each saluting eye, 

And sword, and lance, and banner, bowing 
down 

In tributary grace, before his bright renown. 
And on, and on, as rank on rank appears, 
Come, fast and loud, the thrice-repeated cheers 
From voices of brave men whose life-long cry 


26 


YOUNG- A1IEEICA. 


Has been with him to live, for him to die. 
Their plumes and pennons dancing in the 
breeze, 

With leaves and flowers of overarching trees, 
Timing then steps to tunes of flute and fife, 
And trump and drum, the joy of soldier life, 
While o’er them wave, proud banner of the 
free! 

Thy shy-born stars and glorious colors three, 
All beauteous in each interwoven hue 
Of summer’s rainbow, spanning earth and sea, 
The rose’s red and white, the violet’s heavenly 
blue, 

Emblems of valor, purity and truth, 

Long may they charm the air in ever-smiling 
youth. 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


27 


And now tlie rearmost files are hurrying by, 
Closing the gorgeous scene of pomp and pa¬ 
geantry ; 

And far, far off, on wings of distance home, 
Speed the faint echoes of the trump and horn, 
Plaintively breathing partings and farewells, 
Solemn and sad as tones of tocsin hells, 

But triumphed o’er by voices that prolong 
The wild war music of the manlier song, 

That bids the soldier’s heart beat quick and 

gay, 

The song of “ O’er the hills and far away.” 


28 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


And now, beside the slnmberer’s conch of 
leaves, 

His parting web of thought the warrior chief¬ 
tain weaves. 


How sweetly the Boy in the beauty is sleep¬ 
ing 

Of Life’s sunny morning of hope and of 
youth, 

May his guardian angels, their watch o’er him 
keeping, 

Keep his evening and noon in the pathways 


of truth. 




YOUNG AMERICA. 


29 


All me! what delight it would give me to 
wake him, 

And lead him wherever my life banners 
wave, 

O’er the pathways of glory and honor to take 
him, 

And teach him the lore of the bold and the 
brave; 


And when the war-clouds and their fierce 
storm of water, 

O’er the land that we love their outpourings 
shall cease, 


30 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


Bid him bear to her Ark, from her last field 
of slaughter, 

Upon Victory’s -wings, the green olive of 
Peace; 


And when the death-note of my bugle has 
sounded, 

And memorial tears are embalming my 
name, 

By young hearts like his may the grave be 
surrounded 

Where I sleep my last sleep in the sun¬ 
beams of fame. 



YOUNG AMERICA. 


31 


Summoned to duty by his charger’s neighs, 
The only summons that his pride obeys, 

He bows his farewell blessing, and is gone, 
In quiet heedlessness the Boy sleeps on. 



32 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


1Y. 


Merrily bounds the morning bark 
Along the summer sea, 

Merrily mounts the morning lark 
The topmost twig on tree, 



YOUNG AMERICA. 


33 


Merrily smiles the morning rose 
The morning sun to see, 

And merrily, merrily greets the rose 
The honey-seeking bee. 

But merrier, merrier far are these, 

Who bring, on the wings of the morning 
breeze, 

A music sweeter than her own, 

A happy group of loves and graces, 
Graceful forms and lovely faces, 

All in gay delight outflown; 

Outflown from their school-room cages, 
School-room rules, and school-room pages, 
Lovely in their teens and tresses, 

Summer smiles, and summer dresses, 


2 


34 


YOUNG- AMERICA. 


Joyous in tlieir dance and song, 

With sweet sisterly caresses, 

Arm in arm they speed along; 

“ (Now pursuing, now retreating, 

Now in circling troops they meet, 

To brisk notes in cadence heating, 

Glance their many twinkling feet. 

Slow melting strains their Queen’s approach 
declare. 

Where’er she turns the Graces homage pay, 
With arms sublime, that float upon the air,)” 
She comes—the gentle Lady of my Lay, 
Well pleased that, for her welcome to prepare, 
I boiTow music from the Muse of Gray. 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


35 


His heroine was the lovely Paphian Queen, 
Mine seems the Huntress of the Sylvan scene, 
The chaste Diana, with her Nymphs, in gay 
And graceful beauty keeping holiday. 

Sudden she pauses in the race of joy, 

Around the Cradle Bower where sleeps the 
Boy, 

And, with a sunny smile of gladness, sees 

* 

His golden ringlets, on the dancing breeze, 
Shading his eyelids—and, with quick delight, 
Bids her wild nymphs to wing their merry 
flight 

Home to their morning nests, and leave her 
care 

To watch the slumberer in his rose-leafed 
chair. 



36 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


He, in Ms beauty, to her fancy seems 
To be the young Endymion of her dreams 
Of yester evening, when, alone and still, 
Waiting the coming of the wMp-poor-will, 

Onr climate’s nightingale, her garden bird, 
From lips unseen, unknown, this whispered 
song she heard: 


“ The summer winds are wandering here, 
In mountain freshness, pure and free, 
And all that to the eye are dear 

In rock and torrent, flower and tree, 



YOUNG AMERICA. 


37 


Upon the gazing stranger come, 

Till, in his starlight dreams at even, 

It seems another Eden-home, 

Beared by the word—the breath of Heaven. 


To-morrow—and the stranger’s gone, 

And other scenes, as bright as this, 

May win it from his bosom soon, 

And dim its wild-wood loveliness. 

But ever round this spot his heart 

'Will be—while Memory’s leaves are green, 
The fairy scene may be forgot, 

But not the Fairy of the scene. 


38 


YOUNG- AMERICA. 


The song she sang, the lip that breathed it, 
The cheek of rose, the speaking eye, 

The brow of snow, the hair that wreathed it, 
In their young life and purity, 

Will dwell within his heart among 
His holiest, longest cherished things, 
Themes worthy of a worthier song, 

Dear Lady of the mountain springs.” 



YOUNG AMERICA. 


39 


And who is she—the Fairy of the scene? 

A bright-eyed, beautiful maiden of eighteen, 
Lovely and learned, and well “skilled to 
rule,” 

The Lady-Mentor of a village school, 

“ Teaching young Girls’ ideas how to shoot 
A tree of knowledge, rich in flowers and fruit, 
A model heroine in mien and mind, 

An “ Admirable Crichton ” crinolined, 

And author of a charming Book that sings 
Delightfully concerning wedding rings, 
Tracing the progress of the lightning dart 
Between the bridal finger and the heart, 

And proving the arithmetic untrue 
Which teaches us that one and one make two, 


40 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


Whereas the marriage ring is worn to prove 
That two are one—the Algebra of Love. 


Such is the Lady of my song, and now 
She gazes on her young Endymion’s brow, 
And, fancying—by a sudden thought be¬ 
guiled, 

Herself a mother bending o’er her child, 
Unconsciously imprints upon his eyes 
A kiss—brimfull of all the charities, 

Sacredly secret, eloquently mute, 

Yet “musical as is Apollo’s lute,” 

Of power to lure a swan from off the lake, 

Or wooing blue-bird from an April tree, 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


41 


Upsprings the Boy, exclaiming, I’m awake! 
And shakes his golden locks in frolic glee. 


One look—and, like an arrow from the string, 
Away the maiden went, on laughing wing, 
Graciously leaving, ere she homeward flew, 

On the green turf impearled with drops of 
dew, 

Farewell impressions of the prettiest foot 
That ever graced and charmed a Gaiter Boot. 


2* 


42 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


V. 

The awakened Boy, not fond of early rising, 
Resumed his pillow, thus soliloquizing: 


“ That Lady’s pleasant smile and ruby lip 
Might hope to win my heart’s companionship, 
But for the memory of that mom which 
proved 

That he is happiest who has never loved. 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


43 


That mom, when I, within a Lady’s bower, 
Offered my heart, hand, and a handsome 
dower 

To one who, to my great and sad surprise, 
Told me, with mischief in her laughing eyes, 
That she was not at all inclined to marry, 

And added, in a most provoking tone, 

That Young America had better 1 tarry 
At Jericho until his beard was grown,’ 

And like his Eagle, wear upon his wings 
Leathers—before he proffered wedding rings; 
That purpling grapes looked lovely on their 
vines, 

But she preferred them perfected in wines, 
That on my cheek the down was fair to see, 
But she admired the full-blown fcwoim, 



44 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


And rather liked in men a modest pride 
Of moustache—if artistically dyed.” 


She then, dismissing me in queenly state, 
Locked of her Eden the unfeeling gate, 

And I—a victim to Love’s cruel dart, 

"Went—to the Opera—with a broken heart! 


Along thy peopled solitude—Broadway! 

I walked, a desolate man; day after day, 
With downcast eyes and melancholy brow, 
TJntil a lady’s letter asked me why 
I passed her ladyship without a bow ; 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


45 


To which I sent the following reply, 
My earliest-born attempt at poetry: 


“ The heart hath sorrows of its own, 

And griefs it veils from all, 

And tears, close-hidden from the world, 
In solitude will fall, 

And when its thoughts of agony 
Upon the bosom lie, 

Even Beauty in her loveliness 
May pass unheeded by. 



46 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


“ ’Tis only on the happy 

That she never looks in vain, 

To them her smiles are rainbow hopes, 

New-born of summer rain, 

And their glad hearts will worship her, 
As one whose home is heaven; 

A being of a brighter world, 

To earth a season given. 


“ That time with me has been and gone, 
And life’s best music now 
Is but the winter’s wind that bends 


The leafless forest bough. 


TOTING AMERICA. 


47 


And I would shun, if that could be, 
The light of young blue eyes, 

They bring back hours I would forget, 
And painful memories. 


“ Yet, lady, though too few and brief, 
There are bright moments still, 

When I can free my prisoned thoughts, 
And wing them where I will, 

And then thy smiles come o’er my heart 
Like sunbeams o’er the sea, 

And I can bow as once I bowed 
When all was well with me.” 


48 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


And now farewell to Rhyme! and welcome 
Reason! 

’Tis past—my early manhood’s pleasant sea¬ 
son ; 

If morning dreams, that visit onr closed eyes, 
Changed, when we wake to Life’s realities, 

I might become a Soldier of renown, 

Or wear a Preacher’s or a Teacher’s gown ; 
Por all three in my dreams since rose the sun, 
Have sought to make me their adopted one, 
Destined to run the race that each has run; 
But my Ambition’s leaves no more are green, 
In one brief month my age will he Fifteen. 
I’ve seen the world, and by the world been 


seen, 


YOUNG AMERICA. 


49 


And now am speeding fast upon the way 
To the calm, quiet evening of my day; 

There but remains one promise to fulfil, 

I how myself obedient to its will, 

And am prepared to settle down in life 
By wooing—winning—wedding A Rich Wife.